Gear Review: Diamond Guitars – Halcyon ZB-FR Black Moonrise

Gear Review: Diamond Guitars – Halcyon ZB-FR Black Moonrise

Manufacturer: Diamond Guitars
Model: Halcyon ZB-FR Black Moonrise
Reviewer: KratorFWIW
Instrument: 6 String Guitar
Who It’s For: Five Finger Death Punch fans and those who like their fancy finishes.

Before we begin, how about a bit of backstory about Diamond guitars:

Mr Dean B. Zelinsky, who founded Dean Guitars back in the day, left his prized company in May 2008 over a contract dispute (apparently) but clearly wasn’t too heartbroken, because only a few months later in the August of the same year, he opened up his own private label of guitars, DBZ. Within 4 years he partnered up with Jeff Diamant of Diamond amps, either for marketing purposes or simply because the brand wasn’t doing as well as he’d hoped (which was a clear case). Then, of course, shortly thereafter Dean “left” this partnership and his company over disputes of designs, design flaws, and simply the control over “his” company. If he can’t control it, he walks away.
 Sounds like a spoilt kid who can’t handle not getting his own way, if you ask me.

Well, Jeff Diamant kept all current designs and even signed up Zoltan Bathory of Five Finger Death Punch to their ranks after constructing their first Signature Model, which just happens to be the model we have up for review. Zoltan goes way back with Diamant because of the amps he used for years, what people don’t know though is Bathory helped design DBZ/Diamond’s Bird of Prey, Venom and Halcyon.

Now to the guitar itself. Upon receiving the guitar I thought to myself, well it does look nice, I just hope they’re not all show and no go. After a quick tune up (surprisingly for a Floyd Rose it was fairly in tune already) and plug in, my fears were no more. 
It’s got plenty of go in it that’s for sure, typically not for your jazz/country/funk players at all, however. Thankfully they’re still made in Korea as well. 
Loaded with Seymour Duncan Sentient/Nazgul combo, 24 fret set-neck at 25.5” scale, Ebony Fretboard, Flame Maple Top on a Mahogany body, Floyd Rose 1000 bridge installed with Grover tuners.

 Looks and plays well for a straight out of the box guitar. The Seymour Duncans really pack a punch, tonally it’s really nice, however after playing for a few minutes I noticed there was some cracking in the binding along the fretboard …

A quick phone call to distribution and a Google search or two confirmed some rather troubling issues. According to quite a few sources, the problem we have here is that the moulds for the binding aren’t exactly that crash hot. The materials they use are of quite a dodgy grade, and being made in the same factory as some other brands, this is a common issue. It also seems from various other reviews/responses from customers of Diamond/DBZ have had issues not only with cracking, but the guitars being generally damaged upon arrival.

 In this day and age, I’m pretty sure we should be able to get shipped some top quality merchandise damage free instead of all these ‘factory seconds’ being sent out. If I can get something shipped from China without getting damaged at all I’m sure you guys can send us something without fucking up. Come on guys, pick up your game!

Overall with or without the cracking, it’s a nice guitar for its price range of $1499 AUD, especially with the amount of mid-high end hardware installed. Tonally quite nice, its a very metal guitar; shredders will love the fast neck. The finish is quite unique as well – not too bad at all. But, definite buyer beware, try these before you purchase them and inspect them carefully. With their known history of sending out factory seconds, and especially after receiving one, I’d be very cautious about ordering one again.

Quality: 7/10
Fit and finish: 4/10
Fretwork: 7/10
Tuning stability: 8.5/10
Bang For Your Buck: 6.5/10
Clean Tone: 6/10
Distorted/Overdriven Tone: 9/10
Modification Potential: 2/10
Versatility: 3/10
Playability: 6/10
Overall Enjoyment: 7/10

Gear Review: Diamond Guitars – Halcyon ZB-FR Black Moonrise
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